Eight-year-olds in Nevada are learning about Future of Women in the classroom

A teacher in Nevada is creating a Future of Women lesson plan to inspire her eight-year-old students to dream big, and the students love it!

Future of Women was created in January 2017 with the dream of inspiring young girls around the world to dream big. The question was:

If we show young girls around the world examples of bold and adventurous women — women exploring new frontiers food, music, tech, sports, media, theater, art, and science — can we inspire these young girls to believe that they can grow up to be anyone?

Last night, on a phone call with an incredible second grade teacher, we saw that the answer is a resounding yes! Future of Women has been working with Sarah Tavernetti, a second grade teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada, to develop lesson plans that share examples of female role models in the classroom. Sarah has developed a series of lesson plans, aligned with Nevada state learning standards, that introduces Future of Women role models into 2nd-5th-grade classrooms:

page 1 of the lesson plan

The students are loving it! One student, Giselle, sent Sarah this note after class to say that she loves learning about inspiring people:

The Future of Women unit begins by discussing the meaning of the word Influence. The 8-year-olds hear the word “Influence” in a sentence and, with coaching from Sarah, begin to explore the meaning of the word. They discuss how influence can inspire people to think, speak, and act in certain ways. The lesson moves on to present the students with influential figures in history. Photos are projected on the wall. Many of the students recognize these people by name and/or photo — Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs. Sarah introduces Rosa Parks, Anne Frank, Princess Diana. The students don’t know this second group. A bit confused, the students glance between the two groups. The students realize that society has taught them more about male figures and they start to ask questions: Why would society only teach them about one group if women can do anything? Sarah tells the students about a handful of important women from history and gives each table of 2nd graders a short biography on one of these women. Each table has a different book. Sitting around in small tables, the students read the short books and discuss the biography at their table. Who was this woman? What did she do? Why should we remember her today? Then, the groups take turns presenting the biographies to the rest of the class. Letting these Women of History set in, Sarah shifts gears. The class is presented with modern day role models. Sarah pulls up the Future of Women website on the projector. She clicks to the Featured Women tab and begins to introduce women.

Meet Hebah. She lives in Dubai and she is creating a podcast that tells beautiful stories about the Middle East. [Sarah points to the Middle East on a map.] Meet Jessica. She lives in Nairobi and she is creating the largest tech community in Africa. [Sarah points to Kenya on the map.] Meet Alaa. She lives in Ontario and she is a Medical Doctor who advises the United Nations on health policy and women’s participation in peace processes. [Sarah points to Canada on the map.] Meet Langely. She lives in Utah and is a World Cup Ski Cross Champion. [Sarah points to Utah on the map.] Meet Marta. She lives in Barcelona and isa filmmaker and photographer for Doctors Without Borders, documenting refugee emergency rescue operations across the Mediterranean [Sarah points to Spain and the Mediterranean on the map.]

The list goes on. The students raise their hands, sharing which profiles inspire them — from musicians to athletes to chefs to filmmakers to scientists. Finally, Sarah challenges the room of 2nd graders to dream big: the students are then challenged to dream up a future for themselves. Who do they want to inspire and how?

Sarah is continuing to develop the curriculum and we are so thrilled to be working with her. If you are a teacher and would like to learn more, contact us.

Special thanks to Esteban for leading us to Sarah.

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